First of all, I want to apologize if this offends anyone, but this is more for my sake than any other. A lot of these thoughts have been occurring over the semester, but did not hit me full blast until two nights ago. I feel that I need to write this down to clarify to myself who I am and why I do the things I do.

Throughout this semester, I have grown increasingly frustrated in what defined an artist because like the field itself, it is a subjective definition. It’s obvious to most people that whoever had any “artistic talent” was an artist. But in contemporary art, that is not necessary true in terms of “high culture”, which, for those who don’t know, is museum art. So how can Duchamp’s toilet be on the same level as the Mona Lisa?

I, as someone who is obsessed with animation, cannot connect with this “high culture”. First of all, I have not found a single animation in the past three years that I absolutely LOVED in the museum. Now, that does not mean that I hate museum art. There are some compelling works in there in terms of drawing, painting, and sculpture. I love lines, shapes, colors, and a great idea, but by themselves, cannot move me as much as a well done animation. There is so much depth when it comes to connecting to the audience in such a short period of time. Everything, from writing, to art, to music, works harmoniously together to make a beautiful piece. But this is more like “pop culture”, which is apparently a lower form of art than “high culture”. So does that mean that my art form is not artistic at all? How can I refuse animations that have moved me to tears to be art? How can I not write about the works that inspired me to take this path just because they are main stream? There is not one artist that moved me, but many who worked together to create masterpieces.

A lot of this has led to my frustration with my senior thesis. I’ve been trained and pushed towards “high culture” art for over three years. Sure, I feel a lot more sophisticated knowing about art history and how this has affected art today. There’s definitely little nods to art history in animations that I never noticed until now. But I don’t think I can make art for art’s sake just because of how absurd that idea is. When I decided to be an animator in high school, I was inspired by Animation Runner Kuromi and how even though animation is incredibly laborious, the end product supersedes the suffering. Animation was going to be my main tool to help bring joy to the world, just as it has for me. Today, it is a little different, but the main intent is still the same. Animation is my way of being able to share who I am and how I see the world with whoever is willing to watch. I want them to be able to let them feel the raw energy that I put into my work, whether it’d be happiness, anger, or sadness.

So screw making art for art’s sake. I want to make art for MY sake. That is why I am an artist, or more accurately, an animator.

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